Decisions made by government affect our lives on a day-to-day basis, but how much influence do we have over these decisions and how much should you have? On this course you will gain an understanding of the UK and the USA’s political landscape including the ability to interpret what politicians are saying and the key issues of the day. Topics covered include: democracy, political parties, pressure groups, US politics and the political ideologies liberalism, conservatism, socialism and anarchism. You will learn through lively discussion and debate, group and individual work. There will be many opportunities to widen your enjoyment of this subject through listening to guest speakers from a variety of political perspectives and going on trips, including a visit to Parliament and attending student conferences.
- Type of study
- Examination board
Availability & Details
Students should normally have achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 9-4.
A grade 5 in English is recommended.
The world of politics is fast moving and fluid. Politics influences our everyday lives and our understanding of often complex events can be obscured by conflicting information and ideas. How do we make sense of these events? Politics focuses on how we manage disagreements in society – national and global. In other words, it concentrates on analysis of current affairs, Parliament and other institutions, and generally the events and issues that affect our day to day lives. A knowledge of such things helps us to answer questions that are both directly relevant to us – for example, why are we allowed to drive at 17 but not vote until we get to 18?
You will study:
Component 1: UK Politics
a. Political Participation: Democracy and participation, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media.
b. Core Political Ideas Conservatism, liberalism, socialism.
Component 2: UK Government
a. UK Government: The constitution, parliament, Prime Minister and executive, relationships between the branches.
b. Optional Political Ideas: One idea from the following: anarchism, ecologism, feminism, multiculturalism, nationalism.
Component 3: Comparative Politics USA
The US Constitution and federalism, US congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court, democracy and participation, civil rights.
Lessons activities are wide ranging and include debates and discussions on the latest political events in order to make sense of politics as it unfolds.
100% exams. 3 exam papers; 33% of the final mark each
Essential: Purchase of essential textbooks, £40 across the 2 years
Future Career Opportunities
"Politics classes are always engaging and exciting. Debating various issues and discussing how our country works really pushes our knowledge to the limits, making sure we understand exactly what is going on around us."Scarlett Aylen, previously at The Alton School